1. PICTURES DON’T LIE—BUT SPOUSES DO!
Instagram can provide the often missing plain—but revealing—evidence of extra-marital affairs, says Flores. Also, “photos of excessive use of alcohol or drugs, or compromising positions of a s*xual nature can be used against a spouse in a custody battle to illustrate the spouse is ‘unfit.’”
2. IT CAN BE TIME CONSUMING.
Matt, a recent divorcee and father of young two boys, noticed his ex-wife was spending a lot of time posting on Facebook and complaining about custody decisions while they were in the process of getting divorced. “It was not only embarrassing and upsetting, but I began to wonder whether she was paying much attention to my children while she had them in her care,” he said.
Screen shots of these types of postings can be used as evidence. “The data computation of social activities can become evidence between divorcing spouses as time spent online is time spent away from one’s family, which can be argued as one’s lack of commitment to children,” explains Flores.
3. LIES ULTIMATELY GET EXPOSED.
Even when divorcing couples are cautious about what they post online, friends aren’t always so thoughtful. “Soon-to-be ex-spouses can be ‘outed’ by other friends’ postings or ‘check-ins’ that show they’re not where or with whom they said,” says Flores. “This can be used as evidence that proves helpful in a divorce proceeding, including evidence to challenge one’s credibility.”
4. THE ‘OTHER WOMAN OR MAN’ IS JUST A CLICK AWAY.
Social media makes it difficult to keep affairs a secret. “Facebook’s instant location of and ability to contact the family, spouse, or even friends of the unknowing spouse or the ‘other woman or other man’ makes it much harder to hide an affair — even once it has ended,” says Flores.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS LIVE FOREVER!
Once you post something, you might as well consider it written in stone. “Rants or heated exchanges posted on social media, even if eventually taken down, can support requested court orders to restrain interaction or behavior between soon-to-be ex-spouses and possibly new romantic partners,” says Flores.
For all of these reasons, social media certainly can cause your divorce to be more costly. “You may need to spend funds on experts or evidence to counter the information available on social media,” adds Itkin.
Hopefully knowing both the emotional financial impact social media can have on a divorce, it will encourage couples to be more cautious in their actions “and avoid the social media land mines that could contribute to divorces in the first place.”